Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Over 50 and Divorced Increasingly Common

Are we in the midst of a “Gray Divorce Revolution”? Based on growing divorce rates for Americans over 50, some sociologists have used this phrase to describe the changing divorce demographics in the last several years. While divorces overall have been dropping since their peak in the late 70s and early 80s, divorces amongst Americans over 50 have grown substantially. In 1990, just 10 percent of people who divorced were 50 or over. By 2009, that number had reached 25 percent, with more than 600,000 Americans 50 or over divorcing in that year.

Why the increase in divorces for Americans over 50?

Some blame the “empty nest syndrome” for the increase in divorce rates. Couples may have been toughing out difficult relationships while they were raising children. Once the children have grown up and moved out, the couples find that they no longer have anything in common and end up divorcing.

Another camp points to changing marital expectations. Whereas in earlier decades of the 20th century, couples married for economic reasons or to uphold traditional gender roles (husbands focused on career growth, women on raising children and homemaking), now spouses are more likely to seek individual fulfillment. Spouses at 50 may find themselves asking, “If I only have 30 years left, is this how I want to spend my remaining days?”

Have you gone through a divorce at 50 or older? What kind of an impact did it have you on your life?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys

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